Bladderwrack is a very common sight along the Eastern seaboard of the North American continent. Its name reflects a distinctive physical feature for this seaweed: the air bladders that suspend it in the water and allow it to float. It is one of the most abundant Brown Seaweed from the northern Hemisphere, and is often called 'Fucus'.
Bladderwrack is sometimes referred to as kelp, although this term is inaccurate. Its rich iodine content is the primary reason for its long historical use as a medicinal herb.
Bladderwrack (formal name Fucus Vesiculosis) is a brown seaweed which is a good source of iodine (the mineral needed for proper thyroid function) and of various L-fucose compounds. These compounds have been the subject of much research , in particular for their anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-coagulant and anti-fungal properties. They also have been found to have beneficial effects on diabetes, obesity and estrogen-related cancers.
The compound Fucoidan, also in other brown seaweeds, is being studied for its anti-tumour properties, and another, alginic acid, has been found to scavenge heavy metals and radioisotopes throughout the body, lower lipid levels, modulate gastric acid & soothe heartburns.
Tasmanian research has found that Fucoidan in brown seaweed/Bladderwrack could be an effective treatment for some inflammatory bowel disorders. Eating the whole plant may also be important as the fibre is said to be prebiotic: undigested, selectively fermented and promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria,an essential part to a healthy gut function. Mice suffering from colitis improved when given fucoidan from bladderwrack. Read the full article: http://bit.ly/seaweed-bowel
It has been shown to have anticoagulant and hypoglycemic properties, and has been associated with anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, and anti-fungal effects. Results from studies conducted in patients with osteoarthritis suggest that bladderwrack may provide benefits, including control of pain and inflammation.
Bladderwrack contains ziaxanthin, a carotenoid pigment required in the retina of the eye. Research is ongoing to understand how L-fucose can slow the progression of macular degeneration and other conditions related to vision loss.
It also has been recognised as firming, toning, detoxifying as an ingredient used by the beauty industry to reduce cellulite.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15221191 bioactive ingredients in the brown alga Fucus vesiculosus
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18951280 Dietary fiber and antioxidant capacity in Fucus vesiculosus products.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11829654 Potential antioxidant capacity of sulfated polysaccharides from the edible marine brown seaweed Fucus vesiculosus.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6237397 antibacterial effects
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9863067 algin lowers lipid levels in blood
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6223551 anifungal esp candida
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2804225 fucans antioxidant
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/916293 anti-tumour effect
Disclaimer: This material is provided for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This information is generic and should be verified by a qualified health practitioner for specific & individual needs & requirements.